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Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832) [Civil War diary of Calvin S. Mixter]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06583.01 Author/Creator: Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832) Place Written: various Type: Diary Date: 1861 Pagination: 1 v. : 94 p. ; 12 x 8 cm.

Summary of Content: Signed diary including printed almanac and eclipse calendar in the opening pages. Mixter writes from various locations. Relates the events of 1861, spending most of his time divided between his home in Hanson, Massachusetts, and his workplace in Boston. Reports political affairs, discussing the secession question with colleagues, and holding a Union meeting. Writes to various governmental officials, including Judge John J. Crittenden, but does not discuss the content of the letters. Reports moving to Boston. Records hearing of the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 13 April, followed by President Abraham Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers 15 April. Reports volunteering for military service 17 April, becoming a member of the 22 Massachusetts Volunteers. Includes various military details, including an inspection by Major McDowell 1 May in Washington D.C., and viewing George Washington's uniform and the Declaration of Independence at the Patent Office. Relates turmoil following the 24 May death of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, the first Union officer killed in the Civil War. Relates a 13 June camp visit by President Abraham Lincoln, Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, and Simon Cameron, Secretary of War. Describes participating in various marches and a battle, followed by a visit home, and reenlistment 7 September. Discusses travel, battle, weather, a visit from his wife, and a review by General George Brinton McClellan. On 15 September, states "Food poor. Bread wormy. Pork all fat. Coffee muddy." On 30 December, records escorting an African American family described as contrabands to the Provost Marshal's office in Washington, D.C. The final pages include an account ledger and company roster. Bound in original leather with a front clasp. Includes a pencil note on the second page indicating that Mixter also served in the 5th Massachusetts Volunteers under Captain David Wardwell.

Background Information:

Full Transcript: [Draft] [Excerpts:]
[cover page:] Co F 5th Mass /Regt. [and:] C.S. Mixter /Office National [Reunion?] and Spirit of '76 /23 Court St / Boston, Mass.
[12 Jan:] ...wrote to CH Paine of ...Halifax, Mass about discussion on Slavery
[15 Jan:] Came to Boston...wrote Hon John J Crittenden and resolutions for Saturday night [Union] meeting
[16 Jan:] Wrote to Sec. of Treasury JA Dix...
[23 Jan:] Eve[nin]g at Independence Hall. Was installed as A.C. of Mass Camp No. 1. Discussed the Secession question
[24 Jan:] Considerable excitement on account of the Anniversary of Amer. Anti-Slavery Soc. at Tremont Temple the mayor ordered the public to clear the hall...
[14 Feb:] Eveg at State House meeting of Boston Sanitary Association
[04 Mar:] President Lincoln inaugurated there was great anxiety to read his address
[18 Mar:] St. Patricks day was celebrated by a parade of the Irish Societies who made a fine display
[13 Apr:] Fort Sumter was attacked yesterday & today Maj Anderson surrendered
[15 Apr:] President raised call for 75,000 volunteers
[17 Apr:] Enlisted as a volunteer under Capt D.K. Wardwell
[23 Apr ] ...Arrived at Fort Munroe...Heard of destruction of Norfolk Navy Yard...
[27 Apr:] ...Marched to Treasury Dept [Washington, D.C.] where we have quarters...visited the Presidents House
[01 May:] ...went with the regt to Jackson Square where we were inspected by Maj McDowell and then all took the oath of allegiance to the U.S.
[06 May:] ...visited the Patent Office saw Washingtons uniform camp chest & other articles and the Declaration of Independence
[23 May:] Tonight troops started for Alexandria
[24 May:] Col Ellsworth of N.Y. Fire Zouaves was shot at Marshall House Alexandria great excitement More troops sent over to Virginia
[25 May:] Co. went to see Col E[llsworth]'s body at White House...
[31 May:] Recd U.S. uniforms
[13 June:] Pre[siden]t Lincoln & Secs Cameron & Chase visited the camp at 6 o'clock P.M.
[18 Jul:] Started for Bull's Run; arrived at 9 1/2 P.M. Met Gen. McDowells division. In all 25 to 30,000 1st Mass & some others had a battle several killed
[21 Jul:] At noon engaged enemy. We marched 10 or 12 miles...Desperate fight. [First Battle of Bull Run] Retreated at 4 o'clk at 7 was attacked by enemy's artillery...
[25 Jul:] visited the Capitol. Spoke to Messrs. Crittenden, Webster & called on Supt. of Census
[07 Sep:] Enlisted today in the Jackson Rifles Capt DK Wardwell. 22d Regt. Mass. Vol.
[26 Sep:] National Fast Day
[26 Oct:] The division was reviewed today by Gen McClellan
[09 Nov:] Division was reviewed today by Genl McClellan
[10 Nov:} ...took a walk towards Ball's Cross Roads Everything around here looks desolate. Ruins of houses, crops of various kinds trodden under foot &c &c
[30 Dec:] This eveg went to Washington with a negro man, woman & child (contrabands). Took them to the Provost Marshalls office...

See More

People: Mixter, Calvin Symmes, b. 1832
Cameron, Simon, 1799-1889
Chase, Salmon Portland, 1808-1873
Ellsworth, E. E. (Elmer Ephraim)., 1837-1861
McClellan, George B., 1826-1885
McDowell, Irvin, 1818-1885
Wardwell, David, b. 1824

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistorySoldier's DiaryUnion ForcesSecessionConfederate States of AmericaPoliticsGovernment and CivicsBattle of Fort SumterFortificationFort SumterWashington, D.C.Presidential Speeches and ProclamationsPresidentRecruitmentMilitary UniformsRevolutionary War GeneralRevolutionary WarDeclaration of IndependenceLincoln's CabinetMilitary CampBattleWomen's HistoryMarriageUnion GeneralMilitary ProvisionsDiet and nutritionContrabandsSlaveryAfrican American HistoryDeath

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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